On Fire but Blacked Out: The Thomas Ball Story

June 29, 2011

By Helen Smith

…A 58-year-old New Hampshire man by the name of Thomas James Ball set himself on fire in front of a courthouse because he was “done being bullied for being a man” by the family court system. And despite his horrible and public death, he got little media attention. Just a few activists on the web and a few news outlets such as International Business Times and the Keene Sentinel picked it up. Even Wikipedia took his page down.

Basically, Ball’s last act was treated by the traditional news media as that of a lone nutcase with no political significance whatsoever…

…whether you think Ball is a good man, a bad man, or a crazy man doesn’t really matter. What matters is that Ball’s death — and the reaction to it — should serve as a wake-up call to how men and boys are being treated in a society that devalues their very existence…

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